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School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme

Question for Department for Education

UIN 59548, tabled on 15 June 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the timeframe is for the reinstatement of funding for the national School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme.

Answered on

21 July 2020

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme is operated by the NHS Supply Chain on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care. A decision was taken in March that the scheme would not operate for the whole of the summer term of 2020, recognising the substantial operational difficulties which would need to be resolved in order to restart a large, national scheme like this part-way through a term. This ensured that as little fresh produce went to waste as possible.

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme will resume in September, helping infants to develop healthy eating habits by getting an extra portion of fruit or vegetables every day while at school.

The government does not collect or hold specific data in relation to schools’ provision of free fruit and vegetables during this period. However, infant pupils currently attending schools are entitled to a free lunch under universal infant free school meals. As stated within the School Food Standards, schools must offer one of more portions of fruit every day and one of more portions of vegetables or salad as an accompaniment to meals every day.